• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Beyond one year: Time for action on Nigeria’s pressing issues

In search of trees: 365 days into Tinubu’s government

A year has passed since President Tinubu’s inauguration, a milestone that ushers in a period of both reflection and anticipation. While the traditional honeymoon period for a new administration might suggest a time for cautious optimism, the gravity of Nigeria’s challenges compels us to ask tough questions. Can this administration deliver on its promises, or will the weight of the nation’s problems prove insurmountable? The time for platitudes has passed; Nigerians deserve concrete action and a clear vision for a brighter future. Let us examine President Tinubu’s first year in office through the lens of accountability, transparency, and progress on critical issues that define the well-being of our nation.

Read also: Stop your appointees from attacking Buhari Tambuwal to Tinubu

Accountability and transparency

Has this administration shown accountability and transparency? The Nigerian people expect their government to be accountable and transparent, particularly on major issues. This expectation is a cornerstone of democratic governance, ensuring that decisions are made in the public’s interest and with their knowledge.

Public service delivery:
healthcare, education, infrastructure, power, and public safety remain critical areas of concern. Let’s briefly dissect these one by one.

Healthcare

Nigeria’s healthcare system is in dire need of attention. The exodus of medical professionals suggests a looming crisis if nothing is done to retain them. Primary health centres, meant to address minor health issues, are failing. Moreover, the country’s surveillance systems need significant improvements to effectively track and manage communicable diseases.

Education

The educational system is struggling. UNICEF reports that about 10.5 million Nigerian children aged 5–14 are not in school. Only 61 percent of 6–11 year-olds attend primary school regularly, and a mere 35.6 percent of children aged 36–59 months receive early childhood education. These figures are alarming and raise questions about the future prospects for secondary and tertiary education.

“The time for platitudes has passed; Nigerians deserve concrete action and a clear vision for a brighter future.”

Graduates face bleak employment prospects, even with good grades. If the administration focuses on education, it could positively impact various sectors across the country.

Infrastructure allocations have been made for numerous projects, but follow-through is essential. The government must ensure that contractors fulfil their obligations and enforce consequences for non-compliance. Rebuilding trust in the government hinges on these actions.

Power generation remains a significant issue. The cost of power is high, and many Nigerians struggle to afford it. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) continues to negotiate basic salary matters, highlighting the financial strain on the average citizen. Promisingly, the federal government aims to generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity by the end of 2024, up from the current 4,000–4,500 MW. However, with over 200 million citizens, this is still insufficient.

Economic growth and job creation

For Nigeria’s economy to thrive, the government must foster growth, create jobs, and improve living standards. Social welfare policies are crucial to addressing poverty and inequality, supporting even the most vulnerable segments of society.

Read also: Tinubu’s first-year performance rating: Score: 37%; grade: fail!

Potential and opportunities

Nigeria has immense potential, particularly in the entertainment industry. Our music and movies have gained global recognition, often without government support. With proper investment, this sector could become a significant economic driver.

Agriculture and food security

Food security and agriculture require urgent attention. Nigeria’s agricultural sector, rich in crops like rice, sesame, cashew nuts, cassava, and cocoa, needs support to boost production and ensure food availability. Fish, accounting for 40 percent of Nigeria’s protein intake, also calls for more investment.

Insecurity

Insecurity remains a critical concern. Comprehensive strategies are needed to ensure safety and stability, which are fundamental to the country’s growth.

As President Tinubu marks his first year, it is evident that many challenges predate his administration. However, Nigerians expect solutions to be prioritized. They want to see that, despite inheriting these issues, President Tinubu is actively working towards long-lasting solutions by appointing capable individuals to critical positions.

Every president aspires to be remembered for transformative leadership. Nigerians want to acknowledge that their lives improved because their president made and fulfilled promises. While no one expects President Tinubu to perform miracles, documented progress is essential for maintaining hope and tracking progress. One year down, three more to go. The clock is ticking, President Tinubu. What you have to do, do quickly, and do well.